About Bladder Cancer

Most bladder cancers are transitional cell carcinomas Other types include squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. The cells that form squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma develop in the inner lining of the bladder as a result of chronic irritation and inflammation. Cigarette smoking and exposure to solvents are key risk factors for bladder cancer. Other risk factors include: personal and family medical history, exposure to certain parasitic infections, and a history of having been medically treated with cyclophosphamide or arsenic.


Bladder cancer is the second most common urologic cancer (after prostate cancer). Bladder cancer occurs more frequently among the elderly: the median age for diagnosis of bladder cancer is 73, and 72% of people diagnosed with bladder cancer are 65 or older. Men are two to three times as likely as women to be diagnosed with bladder cancer, and Caucasians are twice as likely as African Americans or Hispanics to be diagnosed with the disease.


The common symptoms of bladder cancer include:

  • Chronic or intermittent hematuria (blood in the urine)
  • An urgent need to empty the bladder
  • Having to empty the bladder more frequently than normal and feeling the need to empty the bladder without results
  • Needing to strain to empty the bladder
  • Pain when emptying the bladder


Most bladder cancer patients — 85% to 90%

Experience blood in the urine. However, many patients do not experience any other signs of the disease.